HAUNTED OHIO REFORMATORY Expedition #1 Mansfield, Ohio

Investigation Team:  Dave Miller, Scott Golden

Investigation Date:   November 17, 2007

This was the first of two investigations to this historical prison, famous for being used to film the Shawshank Redeption movie. 

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The prison is in the Guiness Book of World Records as the largest freestanding cell block in the world.  It is six tiers high with 50 cells down each floor back to back. The West Cell Block is nicknamed “The Hilton” because the cells are larger than the East Cell Block although both sections are the same size. The prison could house 1,200 prisoners in the cell block at one time. The top floor cells were unbearably hot in the summer and cold in the winter. More than 150 prisoners died here. The prison opened in1896.  After housing over 155,000 men it closed its doors on December 31, 1990. See Investigation#2 for more history.

PARANORMAL CLAIMS: Apparition of guard Frank Hagan killed in 1932 by a pipe seen in West Diagonal; footsteps and glowing eyes seen in “The Hole”, the solitary confinement area; in the chapel, lots of EVP evidence; West Cell block – man’s voice whispering, shadow figures, apparition of prisoner, voices talking. See Investigation #2 for more claims.

THE INVESTIGATION: Scott and I investigated from 9pm until 3am. They supply free pizza for the investigators around 11:30pm to midnight. We investigated both cell blocks, the showers, the Jesus Room (Photo#2), library, chapel (Photo#3), TB ward and solitary confinement(Photo#4) areas.  We climbed a spiral staircase to a guard shack and looked outside at the new Ohio Prison located just north. The guide warned us do not take a photo of the new prison or our cameras would be confiscated and we would be asked to leave.  We took photos and conducted EVP’s in all of the areas and came up empty. We heard some unexplained sounds in the chapel and in the shower but could not identify them. We thought we heard footsteps and a sound like a door slam when exiting the prison library. On the third tier of the west cell block instead of discovering a “cold spot”, often a sure sign of a ghostly presence, Scott walked through a rare warm spot.  It was quickly debunked after Scott sniffed and determined that Dave had broke wind. Scott and I spent time in the East Cell Block, second tier fourth cell from the end. Above the door is an “x” placed there by the Ghost Hunters TV Show investigators as they had gotten significant evidence from that cell(Photos#5-#7).  Being fans of the movie, we enjoyed visiting and taking photos in several rooms used in the Shawshank Redemption Movie. Photo #9 is the warden’s secret vault and Photo#10 is the warden’s desk.

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